It's incredible that someone like Adam Brandt, from the department of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University, can get an analysis of the debate over oil sands so wrong in two ways (via New York Times):
1. Title his response in the NY Times Room for Debate as "What's the alternative?" Really?
2. Completely miss the biggest barrier to moving beyond fossil fuels in his take on the situation (nonstop pressure and a united front of misinformation about what's possible from coal, oil & gas companies, not to mention their political allies). "Clearly, the oil sands are not the ideal way to meet our energy needs. Yet here we find ourselves in a state of inertia because of depleting conventional resources, technological challenges to cleaner alternatives and weak polices on greenhouse gases."